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08/04/2011 9:46 AM
With one of the largest hockey populations in the world, the province of Ontario has served as a breeding ground for some of the best athletes in our sport.
Hockey greats with the likes of Wayne Gretzky (Brantford), Boddy Orr (Parry Sound) and Brett Hull (Belleville) were born in Ontario, and they are just the beginning of an all-time list of heroes who have graced this game for decades.
Named after Lake Ontario, the province holds the highest population of any other in Canada. Ontario is typically referred to as having two regions – Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario – with the vast majority of its population residing in the latter.
The capitol of the province, Toronto, as well as the nation’s capital, Ottawa, lie in Southern Ontario.
Boasting the highest population of any city in the country, Toronto is home to one of the NHL’s Original Six organizations: the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs’ primary affiliate, the Toronto Marlies, compete as a North-Division rival to our Lake Erie Monsters while sharing the city with their parent club.
Ottawa is home to the NHL’s Ottawa Senators. The Senators have been particularly successful over the course of the last 14 years, as they’ve qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs 12 times, while capturing four division titles and one Presidents’ Trophy. The fans in Ottawa have provided much support for their team, as they’ve averaged over 18,000 fans per game since the 2005-06 campaign.
While hockey at all levels makes a strong representation throughout Ontario, there are other notable facets of the province.
One of North America’s most prominent natural structures, Niagara Falls, forms the border between the United States and Canada. Draining Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, Niagara Falls flows 75 miles south of Toronto and 17 miles north of Buffalo, New York.
Tourists from both the U.S. and Canada enjoy Niagara Falls, and the scenery it provides for both countries.
Cleveland has been fortunate to see many successful hockey players cross the permeable boarder of Niagara Falls, welcoming Ontario natives Cameron Gaunce (Sudbury), Trevor Cann (Oakville), David Liffiton (Windsor) and Harrison Reed (Newmarket) to last season’s Monsters’ lineup.
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